In the past week, two Federal Circuit decisions – Lighting Ballast v. Philips Electronics, and Williamson v. Citrix – have taken up the issue of the sufficiency of functional claim language, and the scope of claims interpreted according to the “means-plus-function” claim form under 35 USC 112(f).
This topic has been simmering for some time, and academics and reform advocates have been clamoring for the courts to pick up this issue. The Federal Circuit now appears ready to entertain these arguments, and a new front has opened in the “patent reform” wars. This topic bears much discussion, as it is likely to be at least as contentious and important as Alice.
Continue reading Lighting Ballast and Williamson: Functional Claim Language In Focus